Printed 24.09.2023 09:00
11-05-2009 Ian Willoughby
The Romany pop group Gipsy.cz are the Czech Republic’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. After Czech Television itself selected the band to represent the country in Moscow, the station’s viewers picked the song they are going to perform, Aven Romale. Gipsy.cz are currently in the Russian capital preparing for the first semi-final on Tuesday, but shortly before they left I spoke to the group’s leader Gipsy (real name Radoslav Banga). My first question: what does representing the Czech Republic at Eurovision mean to you?
“It is incredible, really. I’m very proud that I can represent not only the Czech Republic but also Roma people. It’s really an incredible chance.”
Tell us about the song you’re performing, Aven Romale. What is it about? What is it inspired by?
“Aven Romale means in the Romany language, c’mon people, c’mon Roma, c’mon everybody, something like that. The song is about breaking down the old limits of colour…Many people just see you as a black or white, as a Chinese, as a Czech, as whoever, as a Gypsy. The song is about breaking…the limitation of colour.”
In the video you’re dressed as a kind of superhero called Supergipsy. Are you going to wear that costume on stage in Moscow?
“Yes. We’ve made a much better costume for the Eurovision competition. I’m going to wear it of course. The idea of Supergipsy is like a message to the people –that anybody can be successful, that all minorities can have these super…men…Spidermen, Batmen, Supergipsy, you know.”
In recent years you’ve played at a lot of festivals all over Europe and built up quite a reputation outside the Czech Republic. But one thing I would say as well is that for many people the Eurovision Song Contest is rather uncool. The music is seen as being, for some people, the worst kind of pop music. Are you concerned you could lose the respect of some serious music fans?
“I don’t think we are going to lose some respect. I think that it doesn’t matter what the competition is, it’s always mainstream…because the mainstream is something which is trying to make money. Eurovision is really sometimes much more about being good looking, and not about music. But sometimes you can see some high quality performers.”
The Czech Republic has only taken part in Eurovision twice and never got
past the semi-final stage. Here’s hoping Gipsy.cz can make it all the way
to Saturday’s final in Moscow.
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